Shock-Worthy Shoes: Christian Louboutin's 8" Ballet Stilettos

Christian Louboutin Shoes

What does the thousand year old practice of Chinese foot binding have in common with Christian Louboutin?

The creation of exquisitely beautiful, expensive, and ornate death-traps on heels.

The idea of binding one’s foot and wedging it into a 3” long shoe seems inhumane, yet it happened for centuries in China where feet were broken and dismantled to fit into the culture’s most coveted dainty shoes.

Such sacrifice for beauty doesn’t seem so antiquated when looking at the latest shock-worthy pumps in high fashion.

In our modern, post-feminist, western world of designer fashion, some footwear seems incredibly similar to the medical torture devices known to women in China centuries ago.

With Swarovski encrusted stilettos over 8” high, Louboutin’s stunning ballet inspired masterpieces, auctioned off to benefit the English National Ballet, are works of art that would surely topple any woman who dared to try and walk in them.

Other designers, too, have sent models tumbling down runways for years showcasing their incredible architectural, sculptural and embellished shoes.

While these $1000 and over shoes may not be practical, the towering creations would look right at home on a glass pedestal alongside the embroidered silk slippers of fashion’s past.


American Medical Association Questions the Effect Photoshopped Ads May Have on Teens

Photoshop Controversy: 2009 Ralph Lauren Advertisement

It’s no secret that retouching photos is a huge part of the fashion industry.

Models and celebrities are photographed to sell brands, products and lifestyles, and so it’s in the best interest for companies to make sure that the people in their ads are people who potential customers will want to emulate.

However, the American Medical Association (AMA)  is now questioning whether photoshopping these ads and photos is in the best interest for the public

The AMA has adopted a new policy that encourages ad agencies to think about impressionable kids and teens who might be negatively impacted by thinking that the idealized images they see in magazines and on billboards represent attainable and desirable body proportions.

Even if viewers are aware that photos are photoshopped, it doesn’t change the fact that these over-edited images promote impossible standards of beauty and associate them with beloved brands.

Some retouching of photos is a necessary part of advertising, but we think it’s great that there is more pressure on ad agencies to avoid taking Photoshop’s magic wand too far and making half a woman’s body disappear a la the tech wizards behind Ralph Lauren’s publicized Photoshop fail.

Enhancing photos digitally is a wonderful capability so long as the technology doesn’t override the natural beauty of the photographed form.


Imelda Marcos In Training: Suri Cruise’s Designer Shoe Collection Worth $150,000

What were you wearing on your feet at 5-years old?  If you’re anything like us, your childhood shoe collection was more likely to include Velcro sneakers with Disney princesses on them than designer pumps.

While Velcro was our parents’ solution to our inability to tie our own shoe laces, Katie Holmes uses a different technique.

Her adorable 5-year old daughter, Suri Cruise, matches her designer wardrobe with a bright array of high-end high heels, no tricky shoelaces in sight!

Suri’s shoe collection is reportedly worth over $150,000, which is more than the price of a home in many parts of the country, making her one well-heeled little fashionista.

Katie has custom shoes ordered for her dear daughter’s little piggies from designers like Marc Jacobs and even Christian Louboutin!  Most grown women will never be able to afford the luxury of custom designer pumps, let alone several pairs, but Suri insists on wearing heels all the time.

Maybe being shadowed by the paparazzi’s lens can have that affect on a child?

Or maybe it is just mom taking advantage of her celeb status to make sure her kid is downright enviable, but she might be toeing the line of good taste with such an extravagant array of grown up shoes for such a young girl.

While Suri is an exceptionally pretty kid and always very well dressed, we have to wonder if it’s healthy or even appropriate for a child so young to be so well versed in designers, when she couldn’t possibly grasp the value of a Manolo versus the latest at Target.

Perhaps Katie thinks that learning to walk in heels at a young age could be good practice for later in life.

What you you think? Too much too young or approximately perfect for a 5-year old?


Five Favorite Looks From 2012 Resort Collections

It’s the time of the year when our fashion designer favorites reveal their 2012 resort collections, giving us a glimpse at what we might be wearing during next year’s spring vacation.

From bohemian gypsy prints to neon-retro styles evoking hints of Jackie O, here are MO’s five favorite resort looks from five designers we’re coveting for our closet.

Alice + Olivia Resort 2012 Alice + Olivia 

We always love the looks from designer Stacey Bendet for Alice + Olivia, and we loved her fun and flirty twist in her last two fashion week presentations.  Her 2012 resort wear collection takes on the 60’s with a wide variety of silhouettes and bold and bright color palettes.

Bendet designed a mix of Grecian draped dresses and structured neon shifts and separates that creates a collection with something for everyone.

MO’s favorite 2012 Pick: We’re crazy quirky over the striped blazer paired with a green mini dress and yellow peep toe platforms.  Fun, bold and daring!

Diane Von Furstenberg Resort 2012 Diane Von Furstenberg 

DVF has created a youthful resort collection that is designed with fresh and bright graphic prints and colors.

The sporty pieces are great for the bold, modern woman; and we loved most of her simpler looks in her 2012 resort collection.

MO’s favorite 2012 Pick: We die for the black and white tribal patterned slouchy romper over a color-blocked tee.  Effortless and yet so chic!

Stella McCartney Resort 2012 Stella McCartney 

There isn’t a piece that we didn’t love in Stella McCartney’s extraordinary line.  Her over-sized round structural shapes, floral illustrated prints, and use of delicate feminine lace were all abundant in McCartney’s Resort 2012 collection.

We just love her suit silhouettes! The curved shoulders and tapered pants make her suits so easy!

MO’s favorite 2012 Pick: We’re tickled over McCartney’s understated monochromatic white ensemble full of lace paired with princess loafers. Lovely!

Missoni Resort 2012 Missoni 

Missoni revealed a collection abundant with hues of pinks, purples and blues with a bohemian meets magic gypsy woman feel.

MO’s favorite 2012 Pick: We absolutely adore the purple and airy drop waist and breezy long skirts. Can’t you just imagine a magical night on the beach while wearing this?

Yves Saint Laurent Resort 2012 Yves Saint Laurent 

YSL anchored their collection with sailor-themed designs that featured exaggerated shoulders, girlish silhouettes and prints echoing decades past.

While some of the looks were literal in their nautical theme—such as an anchor that was emblazoned on a cute blazer—there were some real standouts. YSL’s 2012 resort collection revealed retro-inspired rompers, shiny red leather trench coats and a stunning floral printed red chiffon gown.

MO’s favorite 2012 Pick: We’re a sucker for bright and fresh bold floral prints on a dress worthy of any spring day.


Artist Makes Perfume From Her Own Urine

Tired of spritzing on the same old floral and fruity scents each day?

Artist Cherry Tree has the perfect solution.  She has invented a system for fermenting her own pee and turning it into her own au naturale perfume.  While her bottled eau de toilette is not currently for sale, she has been thinking up ways in which the public could purchase her distilled pee or even manufacture their own.

Tree has also experimented with numerous mixtures and methods of making the perfume which, the artist attests, actually smell great. Apparently her diet impacts the scent of each batch.

While I’m not too keen on dousing my skin in another person’s pee, even if it smelt like daisies, I’m curious if wearers of Tree’s special scent would smell delightful or just like they peed their pants.

It certainly makes the new “2nd (Alan) Cumming” perfume sound a lot more tame.


Balmain to Launch Diffusion Line for the Young and Not So Wealthy

Balmain’s glamour-grunge looks have won over fabulous it-girls season after season.  With price points in the thousands, your average fashionista couldn’t exactly drop a few on owning a fierce sequined blazer of her own.

Balmain admirers without celebrity lifestyles can now rejoice with the launch of a new ready-to-wear line called "Pierre Balmain", geared towards a younger, hipper, and (hopefully) less wealthy customer.

While Olivier Rousteing took the reigns as new creative director for Balmain less than a month ago, this new line will be licensed to the Italian Ittierre S.p.A. company and created by a whole separate team of designers there.

We’ll have to wait until September for the unveiling of the new line, when we will discover if the looks are just as enviable as Balmain’s current collections, and if they are truly at a more reasonable price point.